Attracted as I am to glittery things, in much the same way birds and babies are attracted to them, grabbing wildly, trying to put them in my mouth, I bought the word 'hope' this week. It was silvery, glittery 'hope', big block letters dusted in shiny decadence. It was an early winter holiday time decoration (can we say christmas, even if we do not exclusively mean christmas? It's much less to type); purchased at Kohl's, because I am klassy with a 'k'. I debated between 'peace', 'joy' and 'hope'. But lately, hope is what I have been missing the most, so I took it to the check out counter, got it wrapped in plain brown paper, and took it home to hang on my bathroom mirror.

So, every night when I brush, but pretend to forget to floss, my teeth I stare at 'hope'. Every morning when I finger comb my hair and debate if I want to spend the extra five minutes required to put on makeup; I stare at 'hope'. I have definitely felt like I have needed some hope these days. So then I started thinking. How productive is it to have so much hope? Not in a pessimistic way, but maybe in an alternatively optimistic way. Hope, to me, implies some grabbing, some reaching and searching for something not yet on the horizon. But. Does that stop us from seeing what is in the present, what is already here? Does hope take us away from our current condition in ways that encourage, or allow us to ignore the condition? Does this hope related yearning propel us forward when we are stuck? Or does it hurl us forward and cut us off from what we are at the moment? Is it both?

It's amazing how much philosophy you can buy at Kohl's for under $5.00. Maybe I should go back for the 'joy'.



As days go, I've had better

I got a call from a good friend of mine. The news was not great. The news was awful. A mutual friend of ours, Lydia, committed suicide early, early yesterday morning. Alisa (the friend that called), Lydia and I went to grade school together in Philadelphia and then all to the same high school. I cut out and headed to California a few months later.

Lydia and I have not been the best at keeping in touch. She came to California a few years back and stayed with me for a week. That was great. Then last year, we got back in touch again. She sounded amazing. Her life was exactly what she wanted. She had fallen in love, gotten married, and was about to have a baby boy. I was so happy for her. Lydia was someone you liked and someone you wanted everything for. Almost as much as you wanted it for yourself.

Then a few months ago, her life went 180 on her. She was splitting from the dream guy, he had taken custody of their son and she had not been able to see the baby in over four weeks. And then sometime this weekend, she had enough.

A couple weeks ago, I had this dream. In this dream a friend of mine (not Lydia, a different friend) came to me, sat by the edge of my bed, and told me she had killed herself. Outside of novels, foreshadowing can just be a bitch.

So, let's raise our glasses to Lydia. Let's hope she can now find peace. In her honor, I will share some of my favorite memories of her.

  • The girl could sew. 8th grade, home economics, I am struggling with putting my shitty, purple apron together. Lydia is across the room, sewing a dress with pleats.

  • She knew how to accessorize. During her trip to California to visit with me, she bought about six pairs of new shoes. Obviously, the girl had her priorities in order.

  • She was smart as hell. I remember this even during grade school. She just knew things. Full of culture and random facts and handy to have around.

  • Lydia was goofy. Half the time she came across as somewhat loopy, but she was just a sharp girl that didn't always advertise.

In summary, she was pretty, nice, smart and complex. She was a good person to have in the world. It sucks that she no longer wanted to be in it.